Learning a language is a journey, a long one. A journey with all the wonderful things to discover but also with all the frustration to face.
When learning a language there are not only moments of great joy but also moments of great frustration. My Uzbek adventure started a few years ago. It has been so far the most difficult language I’ve tried to learn and haven’t given up. I usually enjoy this very much, discovering new words, phrases. Each small victory has been so awesome! Today, however, I feel exactly the opposite. I’ve reached my lowest point.
So where am I in my journey? About this time of year, four years ago, I started learning Uzbek. I haven’t always learnt intensively or regularly, especially at the beginning. However, it’s been about two years of the more regular study and… I feel I’m nowhere. I still can’t read any “normal” text except for very few fragments of the Bible which I understand because I know them in other languages. I don’t understand the news on the radio or articles on the Internet, “it’s all Chinese to me” as we say in Poland. Sometimes, I can decipher a little bit but it’s not enough to understand the whole sense. There are nearly no materials for A2-C1 students. Nothing to read, to listen to. When my students are learning English and facing this crisis, I can share some super simple stories they can read in their free time or even TV series to watch, like Extr@. But Uzbek has nothing like this to offer. To be fair, Polish has been a similar case for a long time, just recently things started to change.
That situation is frustrating. Like being buried so deep underground that even after a lot of effort and time you still can’t see any light and you even have no idea if you dig in the right direction. Or like being in a labyrinth, a dark one, where you have nothing to lead you, no light to make the time more comfortable. In language learning, these simple things are like a candle, a torch and Ariadne’s thread – they lead the way, they motivate you. Learning grammar is ok, but it shows you how the walls around you are build but not necessarily show the way to the world of sun, light, conversation, humour, literature and films.
I am not going to stop learning. Uzbek will not defeat me, I will conquer this language and master it. I even have a goal. I will make the way of those who will follow in my footsteps easier. I will help them by making new materials, creating courses and writing easy books for them. At the moment, I just need to go forward, I can’t stop. The moment will come when I see the light.